The official twitter account of the UK government was used to post pornography.
A video clip was shared on that account on Monday afternoon but was quickly detected and taken down within moments.
An official however, cleared the air that the post must have been a cyber attack and not an accidental post by the social media team as many people have speculated. A message apologising for any offence caused was tweeted.
“We are aware that our account was subject to a cyber-attack earlier. We apologise for any offense caused by the material shared. We are confident the issue has now been resolved,” the tweet read.
The official did not disclose the details of how the account was compromised. The post, in form of a retweet has asked viewers to rate an attached video clip from 1-10, with a promise to send further materials via a direct message.
The account has over 14,000 followers and represents the face of the UK government in Wales. Many people already noticed the unpleasant incident, including press members who keep an eye on the activities of the twitter handle as a part of their job.
Prof Alan Woodward, a cyber-security expert from the University of Surrey expressed his disappointment at Twitter. For him, the social network should tighten its seat belt and make the platform less prone to such an occurrence.
“After all of the profile account hijacking, it’s surprising that a government account can still be taken over. To their credit, they acted promptly and were able to re-establish control of the account rapidly. They obviously had a good incident response plan, which is vital because these days, it’s more a case of when, not if, you’ll be attacked,” the Prof said.
In August, Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey’s account was taken over by hackers. The hackers used his profile to tweet offensive and racist remarks for about 15 minutes. In defence, the social network blamed an unnamed mobile operator for the mishap, and insisted that its system was not compromised.
It gets clearer every time that security lapses prevail upon almost all social networks. It’s a more embarrassing incident for Twitter because it is a service that hosts many of the world’s most powerful leaders.